Popular Science Monthly/Volume 18/February 1881/Literary Notices

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Scotch Sermons, 1880. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 346. Price, $1.25.

This book is a surprise, and as gratifying as it is unexpected. Its title is anything but inviting. Of all branches of literature sermons are generally and justly pronounced the dullest, and of the class of sermons, everybody would expect to find the Scotch the driest. This is what sharpened surprise and produced actual astonishment when we looked into this unpromising volume. We have been accustomed to regard Scotch Presbyterianism as the narrowest and most intolerant and intractable form of Calvinistic orthodoxy, which would be the very last to yield to the liberalizing tendencies of the time, but we have been much mistaken. The mechanical law that action and reaction are equal and opposite seems to hold rigorously in the theological sphere, so that the counter-impulse now displayed in the Scottish Church is, perhaps, more vigorous comprehensive, and fruitful than is to be found in any other religious body.

This volume, dedicated to Dean Stanley, consists of twenty-three sermons, preached by various men, located in various places, and all clergymen of the Church of Scotland. Its editorship is anonymous, but its editor declares that it "has originated in the wish to gather together a few specimens of a style of teaching which increasingly prevails among the clergy of the Scottish Church. It does not claim to represent either the full extent of that teaching or the range of subjects on which, in their public ministrations, its authors are in the habit of discoursing. It may, however, serve to indicate a growing tendency and to show the direction in which thought is moving. It is the work of those whose hope for the future lies not in alterations of ecclesiastical organization, but in a profounder apprehension of the essential ideas of Christianity; and especially in the growth within the Church of such a method of presenting them as shall show that they are equally adapted to the needs of humanity and in harmony with the results of critical and scientific research."

There is, of course, considerable inequality in these productions, coming as they do from such diverse sources, but they are all of a superior character, and there are a unity and a harmony in the views advanced which show that the liberalizing movement in the Scottish Church is broad, consistent, well defined, and well matured. The writers treat their respective topics independently, but with a remarkable concurrence of opinion, which shows that the more expanded views are the result less of any effort at agreement than of an unconscious growth of rational conviction.

But these sermons are not less remarkable for their free and catholic spirit and advanced principles than for the intellectual power which various of them evince in dealing with the present phases of religious thought. They are not the mere impatient protests of men chafing under the influence of an outworn system, but they are philosophical in temper, constructive and conservative in tendency, and evince a masterly grasp of the questions that are now tasking the best minds of the age. There is no timidity, no panic about imperiled faiths, and the old errors are repudiated with decision, but without harshness or bitterness. It is ably shown how religion is the gainer by being freed from the false beliefs that have been so long associated with it, and so widely mistaken for it.

These sermons are, moreover, remarkably free from that jealous antagonism to Science which in these days characterizes so much of our mediocre literature of theology. Science is neither fiercely denounced as leading to materialism, nor coldly complimented and left to go her ways. Her results are cordially accepted as a great revelation of truth, and of truth which is also of the highest religious importance. Instead of shrinking with horror at the scientific doctrine of development as something which threatens to sweep away all religion, these clear-sighted men recognize that this doctrine is at the basis of religion itself. They understand that all stereotyped faiths and fixed creeds are doomed to be left behind, while the spirit that animated them must assume new forms under a widened and advancing religious experience. It is certainly a most remarkable result that out of the Scottish Church, in 1880, should come this weighty proclamation to the religious world, that the great law of continuity and evolution, as unfolded and established by modern science, is to become a foundation and bulwark of religious faith in the future. "He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."

We should be glad to reprint half these sermons in the "Monthly," but, as this is impossible, we give a few passages illustrative of the standpoint of the book. The Very Rev. John Caird, Principal of the University of Glasgow, has the first discourse, on "Corporate Immortality," which is an able plea for interest in "The things of this life" as opposed to the overshadowing claims of another world. He says:

It needs little reflection to perceive that the whole order of things in which we live is constructed not on the principle that we are sent into this world merely to prepare for another, or that the paramount aim and effort of every man should be to make ready for death and an unknown existence beyond the grave. On the contrary, in our own nature and in the system of things to which we belong, everything seems to be devised on the principle that our interest in the world and human affairs is not to terminate at death. It is not, as false moralists would have us believe, a mere illusion, a proof only of the folly and vanity of man that we do not and can not feel and act as if we were to have no concern with this world the moment we quit it. It is not a mere irrational impulse that moves us, when, in the acquisition of knowledge, In the labors of the statesman and legislator, in the houses we build, the trees we plant, the books we write, the works of art we create, the schemes of social amelioration we devise, the educational institutions we organize and improve, we act otherwise than we should do if our interest in all earthly affairs were in a few brief years to come to an end. It is not due to a universal mistake that we work for a thousand ends, the accomplishment of which we shall not live to see; that the passions we feel are more intense, the efforts we put forth immeasurably greater, than if we were soon and for ever to have done with it all. Even the desire of posthumous fame, which has been the theme of a thousand sarcasms and satirical moralizing?, the passion that impels us to do deeds and create works which men will be thinking of and honoring when we are gone, does not rest on a mere trick of false association, which your clever psychologist can explain so deftly, but is the silent, ineradicable testimony of our nature to the share we have in the undying life of humanity.

Does any one press on me the thought that, say what you will of the future, death to each of us is near, and no ulterior hope can quell the nearer anxiety as to what is to become of us, and how we are to prepare for that fast-approaching, inevitable hour? Then, I answer finally that, to whatever world death introduce you, the best conceivable preparation for it is to labor for the highest good of the world in which you live. Be the change which death brings what it may, he who has spent his life in trying to make this world better can never be unprepared for another. If heaven is for the pure and holy, if that which makes men good is that which best qualifies for heaven, what better discipline in goodness can we conceive for a human spirit, what more calculated to elicit and develop its highest affections and energies, than to live and labor for our brother's welfare? To find our deepest joy, not in the delights of sense, nor in the gratification of personal ambition, nor even in the serene pursuits of culture and science, nay, not even in seeking the safety of our own souls, but in striving for the highest good of those who are dear to our Father in heaven, and the moral and spiritual redemption of that world for which the Son of God lived and died—say, can a nobler school of goodness be discovered than this? Where shall love and sympathy and beneficence find ampler training, or patience, courage, dauntless devotion, nobler opportunities of exercise than in the war with evil?

The Rev. Dr. Ferguson, of Strathblane, has a powerful discourse on "Law and Miracle," in which he says:

Christianity, then, is no rigid system of dogma, or of ecclesiastical forms elaborated long ago and incapable of growth or change. It is rather a living organism, drawing nourishment to itself from every side, and affected by the life pulsations of every age. Look, for instance, what a vast difference between Christianity in the first and in the nineteenth century! Then it was struggling for existence between Judaism on the one hand and paganism on the other; now it has conquered its position, and extorts recognition at least from its bitterest opponents. It has revolutionized the whole structure of society, and formed manners and customs and habits of thought. Of the effects produced by this habit of sifting and winnowing which goes on in history, we have a good example in the doctrine of miracle. In our own day that doctrine does not occupy the prominent position it formerly had. It has fallen into the background, and lost its apologetic value; but, at the same time, its actual relations to the circle of Christian truth have been made clear. In the course of last century, on the contrary, the sharpest attacks which Christianity had to sustain were directed against this side. The contest raged round the credibility or incredibility of miracle, as if the whole of revelation depended upon the issue. In reality, however, no vital point of revelation was endangered. It was an affair of outposts altogether, and the work so energetically assaulted and defended had little importance for the citadel in the rear. Neither the philosopher who argued against nor the divine who contended for miracle was dealing with the essence of Christianity, and the complete triumph of either would have made little change. At the worst, a dogma of the Church would have been overthrown; but the dogmas of the Church and the religion of Christ are not synonymous terms.

In enumerating the various causes which have produced a new "climate of opinion" in relation to miracles, Dr. Ferguson says:

First of all, there is the scientific conception of the universality of law. This may truly be said to be the revelation of our own age, not in the sense that it was unknown to our predecessors, but that in the present day the conception has been so extended and generalized as to dwarf its former proportions. It has passed out of the laboratory of science into the common possession of men, and is now one of the great truths so firmly established that they become truisms. We never stop to reason about them, and, were any one rash enough to call them in question, we should not give him even a patient hearing. Moreover, the idea of law is not to be confined to the material world, with its indestructible treasury of force. It must be carried over into the world of mind, and be seen at work there also, not indeed with the rigidity of physical law, but within the large limits which freedom of thought and action demands. It is to he traced in the advance of civilization, in the development of history, in the growth of religion, in relations such as those between morals and art, between society and government, between national life and literature. Now, it is not difficult to see how such a conception must indispose men under its influence to look favorably upon miracle. In the idea of order everywhere supreme, calm, eternal, there is a sublimity which fills their imagination and stimulates their intellect. Any interruption of its uniform course, any breach of continuity, would be a blemish in the picture, and not an additional charm—would be, indeed, a positive pain to thought, and, instead of disposing the mind to reverence, would fill it with confusion and doubt.

The Rev. Professor Knight, of St. Andrews, has a sermon of great interest and moment on "The Continuity and Development of Religion," in which he says:

It does not, therefore, follow that, if we can explain the origin of a particular belief by tracing its parentage, and finding that it has sprung from inferior elements, the validity of the belief itself is in the slightest degree imperiled. Nay, it is indisputable that, if the human mind has grown at all, its religious convictions—like everything else belonging to it—must have changed. Our remote ancestors could not possibly have had the same religion as ourselves, any more than they could have had the same physiognomy, the same social customs, or the same language. Thus, the intuitions of subsequent ages must necessarily have become keener and clearer, at once more rational and more spiritual, than the instincts of primeval days; the clearness, the intelligence, and the spirituality being due to a vast number of conspiring causes. And, if the opinions and the practices of the race thus change, the change is due to no accident or caprice, but to the ordinary processes of natural law. It can not be otherwise; because, since no human belief springs up miraculously, none can be maintained in the form in which it arises for any length of lime. Thus, the "increasing purpose" of the ages must inevitably bring to the front fresh modifications of belief. If our theologies have all grown out of something very different, why should we fear their continued growth? Why should any rational theist dread the future expansion of theistic belief? If it has grown, it must continue to grow, and many of its existing phases must disappear. The controversies of our time are the phases of its evolution. But is it now so very perfect that we would wish it to remain stationary at its present point of development? That its present phases should be permanent? May we not rather rejoice that "these all shall wax old as a garment," and that, "as a vesture, they shall be changed"; while the Object—of which they are the interpretation, or which they try to represent—endures, and of its immortality there shall be no end? It may even be affirmed that one of the best features in every human belief is its elasticity; that one sign of its vitality is its amenability to change. Were it irrevocably fixed, it would have some secret affinity with death and the grave. Paradoxical, therefore, as it may seem, if religion he among the things that can not be shaken, it must change. Its forms must die that its spirit may live; and the condition of the permanence of the latter is the perpetual vicissitude of the former. Curious it is that some of its most ardent advocates can not recognize it under a new dress, that even its disciples misconstrue it when it changes its raiment. They think it a foe if it is differently appareled. But how often in all human controversy the combatants are merely speaking different dialects while they mean the same thing 1 But, granting that the opinion of the world is an organic whole, that all human conviction—with its present variety and complexity has grown out of very lowly roots, and that our most sacred beliefs have emerged from others that are different, a further and a far more important question lies behind this admission. It is this: How are we to interpret the whole series from beginning to end? It is not enough to say that there has been progress; what meaning are we to attach to the term progress? Are we to think of it as simple succession and accumulation, the mere addition of new links to a chain of development? We know that men "rise on stepping-stones of their dead selves to higher things," and that the "individual withers, while the race is more and more"; but do the individuals and their beliefs only resemble beads which have been strung, on a thread of endlessly developing succession? What has the race been doing during all this onward process of development? And has it at every stage been the victim of continuous illusion? Or has it all the while been in the closest contact with Reality, a reality which it partially understands, and interprets to good purpose? In other words, is the history of religious ideas merely the record of attempts made by men to project their own image outward, to throw their thought around an impalpable object which it has never yet been able to grasp? Or is it the story of successive efforts, more and more successful, to explain a reality which transcends it, but to which it stands in a definite and ascertainable relation? Do the gropings of experience in the matters of religion record a long and weary search, with no discovery rewarding it? Or are they the efforts of human apprehension to realize the divine, to get at the "last clear elements of things," with disclosure at every stage, and a steady approach to the goal which is continually sought and approximately reached? I think it is past controversy that if the religions education of the human race has been a purely subjective process, if it has been merely an upward tendency of aspiration, it is now no nearer its goal than ever it was. If we can only approach the Infinite by the journeyings of finite thought or through sighs and cries of aspiration, the journey that way is endless, and the end is nowhere visible. But may we not find the object everywhere? May not the discovery have been as continuous as the search, and the two be simultaneous now? I think that we may affirm that the human race has lived in the light of a never ceasing apocalypse, growing clearer through the ages, but never absent from the world since the first age began.

Modern Thinkers: Principally upon Social Science. What they Think, and why. By Van Buren Denslow, LL. D. With an Introduction by Robert G. Ingersoll. With Eight Portraits. Chicago: Belford, Clark & Co. Pp. 384.

This volume consists of a series of brief personal sketches of several of the leading thinkers of modern times, together with critical disquisitions on their labors, influence, and character. The thinkers selected for study are all of the aggressive or revolutionary type, and they were chosen furthermore because of the more or less intimate bearing of their advanced ideas on the subject of social science. Three Englishmen, Adam Smith, Jeremy Bentham, and Herbert Spencer; two Frenchmen, August Comte and Charles Fourier; a Swede, Emanuel Swedenborg; a German, Ernst Haeckel; and an American, Thomas Paine—are the characters selected for examination.

The author has a brief preface explaining the origin of his book, and offering some preliminary suggestions regarding its method and purpose. The essays were written for the "Chicago Times," and at the suggestion of its editor they were first published in that newspaper. The intelligent interest elicited by them has induced the author to bring them out in this more permanent form. It was an excellent idea, and does credit to the editorial sagacity and liberality of Mr. Storey. People are undoubtedly more and more confining themselves to the reading furnished by newspapers, and we see no reason why, under the pretext that their business is the promulgation of news, the daily press should confine itself exclusively to the scattering of information on ephemeral and frivolous subjects.

Colonel Robert J. Ingersoll contributes a spicy introduction to the volume, briefly presenting his views of the various characters it deals with, and pointedly reillustrating his well-known anti-theological position. In this, however, he is in entire harmony with the spirit of the volume, which is characterized throughout by hostility to everything theological, and abounds in unsparing invectives against the Church, the priesthood, and the Christian gospel. The work is written in a free, vivacious, and somewhat dashing style, and is eminently readable. The mode of treating the subjects is independent, sensational, and bold. Much of its exposition is instructive, evincing good preparation; and much of it will be unsatisfactory to those who prize deliberate and unprejudiced work. As a piece of manufacture, the volume itself is no credit to Chicago.

The essay that has most interested us is on the American subject, Thomas Paine, whom the author regards as the "representative critic, destroyer, and revolutionist of his period. . . . He was gifted, as no man ever was before or since, with the fatal and unhappy faculty of suppressing the good and exaggerating the ill in the men upon whose conduct he was called to comment, and in the institutions he aimed to overturn." Dr. Denslow makes out a specious case for Paine as the author of the "Letters of Junius"; but Mr. Ingersoll interposes to protect the great freethinker against this scandalous imputation, and protests that Paine "was neither a coward, a calumniator, nor a sneak," and he gives a few reasons that are weighty against the hypothesis that Paine was the author of these celebrated letters.

Dr. Denslow maintains, with more show of reason, that he wrote the "Declaration of Independence," and Mr. Ingersoll is inclined to think that this claim is well founded. Decisive reasons are given why Jefferson could not have been its author, and there is much forcible evidence that Paine was the only man who could have done it. The following passages will afford a good illustration of our author's manner of dealing with his topics, and also sum up his estimate of Mr. Paine:

But, enough! The Declaration of Independence must hereafter be construed as a fabric whose warp and woof were Thomas Paine's. It was admirably adapted, as a revolutionary pronunciamiento, to fire the colonial heart to a war for separation which, though placed on utterly inadequate and untenable grounds by that Declaration, yet had good grounds which are not mentioned in it. Those were, simply, that not having any of the materials for an aristocracy in this country, we could not coalesce into one government with Great Britain, whose government was aristocratic. If we had been permitted to elect members to her House of Commons, what should we have sent to her House of Lords? The alleged grievance of taxation to reimburse the British Treasury for expenses incurred in our defense was in no sense a money grievance. The money having been expended for our benefit, it was our duty to pay it. There could surely be no duty resting on Londoners or Yorkshiremen to pay the expenses of Montgomery's march to Quebec or Braddock's to Pittsburgh. The real difficulty was, that we needed a sovereign government, and could not be admitted into the British one, because that was aristocratic and we had no aristocracy. This was not a grievance, but it was a good cause for national separation. The Declaration, like many popular documents, substituted sentiment for sense, passion for wisdom, fiction and rhetoric for history and fact, concealed the double merits of the case and helped on the war, in the same way that the stupidity of George III did. We may now fairly estimate Thomas Paine in his two most marked characters, as a master of rhetorical invective and as a revolutionist; for, after attributing to him the authorship both of "Junius" and of the Declaration of Independence, as well as "Common Sense," "The Crisis," and "The Rights of Man," he still subsides into the category of brilliant sensational agitators endowed with a considerable force of prophetic insight, who fell far short of the qualifications essential to a statesman, or even of the appreciation of what statesmanship is. There can be no statesmanship without cool-headed candor, judicial calmness, capacity for guarded, just, and moderate statement, which will bear the test of time, perfect fairness toward adversaries, gratitude toward supporters, and a capacity for harmonizing adverse or conflicting elements by practicing, in non-essentials, unity, and in essentials, charity. Webster, Clay, Calhoun, Hamilton, Madison, Washington, and Franklin possessed these qualities, but Paine, the scathing and withering accuser, lacked them all. If it be a galling and unbearable tyranny for a conscientious man, with a tongue that has an infinite capacity for accusation, and none for pardon, to go about, like a section of the day of judgment, applying to every one who stands in his way such exacting and ideal tests and standards of virtue that human nature, which seems very tolerable to those who are looking at it without the blasting motive, is foredoomed by it to certain damnation and infamy, then Paine was a species of moral tyrant, always demanding the impossible of others. Notwithstanding his profession and belief that he was an apostle of freedom, Paine's fundamental belief in politics was that the government was always wrong, that it was inherently an evil; that the less there was of it the better, but that, however reduced in dimensions, whatever should be left of it would still be bad by reason of its being government. It was as wrong when vested in Washington as in George III, and he had good reason to know that it was as wrong when wielded by Robespierre as when presided over by Louis XVI. On the contrary, Paine imagined that the aggregated ignorance and incapacity of all the vast unskilled millions who had been pushed out of the work of government by the superior force and cunning of those in power were the actual repository of political wisdom and purity. The iceberg needed only turning over. He began with the creed, which he retained to his death, that government was not an affair of skill, but merely of honesty; not a problem of difficulty, but merely of good intentions. Holding these views, it followed that if it could in some way be got out of the hands of the skilled and interested few who were educated to it, and had made a profit out of it, into the hands of the unskilled and disinterested masses, who were not educated to it. and who, he assumed, would not seek to make a profit out of it, then good government would be perfectly secured. The inverted iceberg would bloom into an enchanted island, melodious with the songs of birds and mellifluous with the scent of flowers. It did not occur to him that the hereditary principle in government might supply permanency, nationality, and non-partisanship to the executive, while an elected executive would always be the mere chief of a party and never the head of a nation; or that the bungling charlatanism of the unskilled democracy might result in misgovernment, waste, despotism, and passionate folly. So little did he comprehend both sides of the question, that, in "The Rights of Man," he predicted that within ten years the monarchical and aristocratic principles would have disappeared from all enlightened governments of Europe. The instant his supposed government of the people had got under way in America, Paine immediately saw in it an oligarchy in power, new in personality, but not materially different in meanness and avarice.

The Scientific Basis of Spiritualism. By Epes Sargent. Boston: Colby & Rich. Pp. 372. Price, $1.50.

This work, copyrighted in 1880, has but just appeared, but since its publication its versatile author has passed away. Mr. Sargent was born in 1812, studied in Harvard College, and early became an editor in Boston. He pursued this vocation awhile in New York, and then again resumed it in Boston. He edited various popular "Speakers" "Readers," and rhetorical books for the schools, and wrote many plays both comical and tragical. He also wrote "Life of Henry Clay," a volume of poems, an abolition book, and "Arctic Adventures." That he should have dipped into spiritualism was but natural with his love of diversified literary occupation; and so, a dozen years ago, he printed "Planchette, or the Despair of Science," and closed his career with the production of the volume now before us.

As was to be expected, the work is one of considerable literary merit, well digested, attractively written, and made lively by a pervading spirit of criticism. If we may be allowed the paradoxical suggestion, Mr. Sargent goes the "whole hog" in spiritualism. He believes it all, sticks at nothing, and slashes right and left at everybody who objects to it. He claims to be on the winning side, and says that in the last forty years spiritualism has gained twenty million adherents. One would think that with this he might "rest and be thankful," but it does not satisfy him. It seems that, among these twenty million believers, the scientific men generally are not to be found, and it is this fact which caused Mr. Sargent to write his book. He thinks the twenty million people of all sorts, who need not be further characterized, are right, and that the scientific men—the sole class whose business it is to search out the truths of nature—are wrong; and it is his object to show that spiritualism has just as much a valid scientific foundation as any of the recognized and established branches of science. We shall not undertake to answer his arguments, if such they may be called, but will only observe, as we have repeatedly done before in this connection, that the most fundamental of all distinctions is confused throughout the work. The supernatural, or that which by its very term is above and beyond nature, is mixed up and confounded with nature itself, and spiritualism is declared to be "a purely natural fact." Yet, if this doctrine had twenty times twenty million adherents, science could not accept it, because it takes for its object of investigation the natural as opposed to the supernatural. In so far as alleged "spiritualism" involves human phenomena, it is of course within the purview of science, and scientific men will be certain to take these phenomena up in their own way and in their own time. But they must be allowed to mark out their own work, and the problem as presented by the twenty million does not come in a shape suitable to be dealt with by rigorous scientific methods. The men of science begin by doubting, and cultivating this state of mind as a virtue; they continue to doubt until evidence extorts acquiescence, while assent even then goes no further than to things regarded as actually proved; the "twenty million," on the contrary, begin by believing, hold this state of mind to be a virtue, and go on believing without much perplexing themselves over questions of evidence. To them the phrase "the scientific basis of the super-scientific" would involve no contradiction.

Progress and Poverty; an Inquiry into the Cause of Industrial Depressions and of Increase of Want with Increase of Wealth: The Remedy. By Henry George. New York: D. Appleton & Co. Pp. 512. Cheap edition, with a new preface, in paper cover. Price, 75 cents.

We are glad to announce the appearance of a cheap popular edition of this suggestive book, by which it will be made accessible to many who could not have secured it in its previous form. We are happy to note, further, that it has proved a very considerable success. Four editions have been called for in this country; the Germans are printing a translation in parts; it is discussed in French and Italian periodicals; and an English edition is in preparation. The work is everywhere looked upon as an important contribution to political economy, and as an eloquent and vigorous discussion of imminent social problems. It is a wholesome sign of the growing liberality of the times that a work should be so cordially received and highly appreciated, while at the same time there is general and decisive dissent from its main conclusions. It is read and enjoyed for its humane spirit and the novelty and independence of its views; but we do not observe that Mr. George makes disciples who endorse his leading and distinctive doctrines. It is, however, admitted that he has contributed to the elucidation of political economy by his adverse criticism of prevailing opinions on that subject; and it is certainly no small merit to have done something for the advancement of this inquiry, and the clearing up of important economical questions.

Medical Heresies historically considered. A Series of Critical Essays on the Origin and Evolution of Sectarian Medicine, embracing a Special Sketch and Review of Homœopathy, Past and Present. By Gonsalvo C. Smythe, A. M., M. D., Professor of the Practice of Medicine, Central College of Physicians and Surgeons, Indianapolis. Philadelphia: Presley Blakiston. Pp. 228. Price, $1.25.

It was not the author's object in this volume to write a history of medicine, but simply to sketch the rise and fall of the different schools, sects, or systems of medicine, from the earliest historical period down to some of the more prominent heresies of the present day. The author writes with brevity, and does not enter into the consideration of the contemporaneous systems of philosophy or theology with which medicine in former times has been strangely and inconsistently commingled. All topics are also avoided which are merely of interest to the medical antiquarian. The author says in his preface: "My second object is to furnish the regular profession with some much-needed information in regard to homœopathy. Few busy practitioners have the time or inclination to investigate the claims of this school, and, although they are brought in contact with it daily, know little or nothing of its real principles. I have presented the principles of this school fairly, quoting the exact words of its founders at the expense of some repetition, in order that I might not be accused of misrepresentation. The discussion of these principles has been conducted from a scientific standpoint, and without ridicule, thus showing of what homœopathy consisted originally; and by quotations from the current literature of the school, with discussions thereon, showing what it is now. It is confidently believed that the condensed information contained in this little book will not be altogether without interest to the profession."

Passages from the Prose Writings of Matthew Arnold. New York: Macmillan & Co. Pp. 333. Price, $1.50.

Not only will the admirers of Matthew Arnold be gratified by this varied collection of his best utterances, but many, who are not familiar with or do not possess his works, will be glad of a representative volume like this, in which they can get some acquaintance with the thought of the eminent modern apostle of the gospel of "sweetness and light." The selections are systematic, being arranged under the heads of—I. Literature; II. Politics and Society; and III. Philosophy and Religion; and they have been collected with good judgment, and will prove very suggestive and gratifying to all cultivated readers.

The Journal of Physiology. Edited by Michael Foster, M. D., F. R. S., of Trinity College, Cambridge. Assisted in England by Drs. Gamgee, Rutherford, and Burdon-Sanderson; and in the United States by Drs. Bowditch, Martin, and Wood. New York: Macmillan & Co. No. 1, Vol. III.

We call renewed attention to this admirable periodical, the only one in English thoroughly devoted to original physiological research. The progress in the arts of physiological experimentation and the untiring assiduity of the laborers in this field are fruitful of important results which are both of general interest as extensions of scientific knowledge and of special moment to all the well-qualified members of the medical profession. The publication deserves to be liberally sustained.

The Beautiful and the Sublime. An Analysis of these Emotions, and a Determination of the Objectivity of Beauty. By John Steinfort Kedney. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons. Pp. 214. Price, $1.25.

This is not a text-book on æsthetics, but an attempt to deal with the underlying philosophy of the subject. Physical science, metaphysics, and theology profess to be no more dealt with than is necessary for the author's logical purpose. His chief claims are on the psychologic and the ethic side, and there he thinks he has made additions to the treatment of the subject. He does not attempt to deal formally with art or art criticism, but holds that his views may be carried out in application to the several departments of architecture, sculpture, painting, music, literature, oratory, poetry, and histrionics. The author modestly says in his preface: "While my treatise is intended, primarily, as a contribution to the philosophy of the science, I have endeavored to cast it in such form and style as to interest all intelligent readers, who, if they are patient over some parts of the work, may find it, elsewhere, and on the whole, compensatory."

A New School Physiology. By Richard J. Dunglison, A. M., M. D. 119 Engravings. Philadelphia: Porter & Coates. Pp. 314. Price, $1.50.

This school-book has several things to commend it: it is neatly printed, it is elegantly illustrated, it carries an eminent name on its title-page as author, and is, consequently, we have no doubt, trustworthy in its statements; if, therefore, the publishers can not make a good thing out of it, it will be their fault. The drawback of the book is, that its author seems to know only physiology, while some knowledge of the growing mind is necessary to make a good book of science for educational purposes. It is a question-and-answer book "of the old type," to be learned by memory by young people. As this class embraces pupils of all grades, the book is suited to no special grade, and will be equally used to begin with, to continue with, and to finish with. This will be again favorable to its sale, but unfits it for intelligent educational use.

Diphtheria: Its Cause, Nature, and Treatment. By Rollin R. Gregg, M. D. Pp. 137. Price, $1.50.

On the title-page of this book is printed the following, which are probably fundamental propositions maintained in the volume: "Spherical Bacteria, or Micrococci of Diphtheria, shown to be only Molecular Granules of Fibrin. Rod-like Bacteria, Bacterian termo, shown to be Molecular Granules of Fibrin, united into Fibrils, or fine thread-like prolongations."

The book is one that it belongs to the medical profession to judge of.


Cases treated by the Lister Method. Reported to the Portland Clinical Society by Frederick H. Gerrish, M.D. Portland, 1880. Pp. 15.

The Anarchist. Socialistic-Revolutionary Review. Edited and publishd by Dr. Nathan Ganz. Boston, January, 1881. Monthly. Pp. 24. 60 cents a year.

Vennor's Almanac and Weather Record for 1880-'81. New York: American News Company. Pp. 84. 25 cents.

Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. Vol. I. Nos. 11, 12, March, and No. 13, April. 1880. New York: Published for the Academy.

The Constitution of the Tartrates of Antimony. By Professor F. W. Clarke and Helena Stallo. Reprint from "American Chemical Journal." Pp. 13.

Reports of the Iowa Weather Service for the Twelve Months of 1878. and January, February, March, and April, 1879. By Dr. Gustavus Hinrichs. Des Moines, 1880.

Dictionary of Music and Musicians. Edited by George Grove, D. C. L. Part XII, Palestrina to Plain Song. London and New York: Macmillan & Co. 1880. Issued in quarterly parts, at $1.

Report on the Culture of the Sugar-Beet and the Manufacture of Sugar therefrom in France and the United States. By William McMurtrie, Ph. D. Washington: Government Printing-Office. 1880. With Maps. Pp. 294.

A Treatise on the Injurious and Beneficial Insects found on the Orange-Trees of Florida. By William H. Ashmead. Jacksonville, Fla. 1880. Illustrated. Pp. 78.

The Food of Fishes. By S. A. Forbes. Reprint from Bulletin No. 3. Illustrated. State Laboratory of Natural History. Pp. 60.

On the Present Condition of Musical Pitch in Boston and Vicinity. By Charles R. Cross and William T. Miller. Reprint from the "American Journal of Otology," October, 1880. Pp. 16.

The Coming Revelation: Its Principles. St. Louis, 1878. Pp. 40.

The Abdominal Method of Singing and Breathing as a Cause of Female Weakness. By Clifton E. Wins, M.D. Boston. Pp. 8.

Abridgment of the Nautical Almanac for 1881. By Riggs & Brother, Philadelphia. Pp. 150. 25 cents.

The Geological and Natural History Survey of Minnesota. Eighth Annual Report, for 1879. By N. H. Winchell. Illustrated. St. Paul, 1880. Pp. 183.

Drainage for Health, or Easy Lessons in Sanitary Science. By Joseph Wilson, M.D. Philadelphia: Presley Blakiston. 1881. Pp. 68. $1.

Report of the United States Fish Commissioner for 1878. Washington: Government Printing-Office. 1880. Pp. 988.

Introduction to the Study of Indian Languages. With Words. Phrases, and Sentences to be collected. By J. W. Powell. Washington: Government Printing-Office. With Maps. 1880. Pp. 328.

James Smithson and his Bequest. By William J. Rhees. Washington: Published by the Smithsonian Institution. Illustrated. 1880. Pp. 159.

Sketches and Reminiscences of the Radical Club of Chestnut Street, Boston. Edited by Mrs. John T. Sargent. Boston: J. R. Osgood & Co. 1880. Pp. 418. $2.

The Logic of Christian Evidences. By G. Frederick Wright. Andover: Warren F. Draper. 1880. Pp. 312. $1.50.

Extracts from Chordal's Letter. American Machinists' Publishing Company. New York, 1880. Pp. 320. $1.50.

Elementary Projection Drawing. By S. Edward Warren, C.E. New York: John Wiley & Sons. Twenty-four Plates. 1880. Pp. 162. $1.50.

A Text-Book of Elementary Mechanics. By Edward S. Dana. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 1881. Pp. 291. $1.50.

The Young Folks' Cyclopædia of Persons and Places. Illustrated. By John D, Champlin, Jr. New York: Henry Holt & Co. 1881. Pp. 936. $3.50.